Tag Archives: PHRF

I so want to go to this!

Unfortunately I’ve committed to doing Swiftsure this year. Oh and also it’s 1,200 miles away…can somebody please go to this and report back?!

While you’re there, kidnap pull aside Terry Alsberg so we can interrogate politely ask him questions!


Piranha has a new owner!

From Doug W.

“Tomorrow I head down to Vermilion Ohio to pick up my new-to-me 1987 Express 34, hull #22. The boat is a one owner boat currently called Piranha 3, and was bought new from a dealer in Ohio back in the day. The boat has never left the waters of Lake Erie. It’s new home will be here in Traverse City Michigan, where I have raced / owned / restored a dozen or so boats over the last 25 years. When I inspected the boat I was pleasantly surprised by the condition of the bottom which has been barrier coated and Baltoplated. She needs a good sanding and burnishing but no big deal.

The topsides were excellent, and the deck was like new. Not sure there is a craze mark in the deck. The deck hardware is completely original, including the nine winch layout and horn cleats for the halyards. I was amped to buy the boat until I went down below. As I understand it, the former owner is now in his nineties, and his loyal crew are also his loyal children who are in there 60’s. It’s clearly been a few years (decades??) since she was cleaned stem to stern.

The woodwork appears original, and is showing the wear of 30 years of beer can racing. The cabin sole is in throw away condition. The bulkhead suffered the anchor locker leak and was replaced back in 2004. The repair was well done, but the bottom the of wood bulkhead and frame around the mast are showing signs of absorbing water from below. The sails are out dated. The electronics partially functioning.

Piranha interior

Long story short, the interior was somewhat disheartening, though bringing her back would be a labor of love (and labor), not necessarily and significant expense. I made an offer well below asking price prior to inspecting the boat and the owners had countered well above my offer. After my inspection, I was glad I hadn’t agreed to their counter and walked away and made an offer on a different boat. A few days later, they accepted by original offer so I had the boat structurally surveyed. Having owning many J boats and having had core issues on almost all of them, I expected the worse. To my pleasant surprise the boat surveyed very well, with dry readings throughout deck bottom and topsides. Now hoping that the work needed is mostly cosmetic, we closed the deal and tomorrow the adventure begins.

The boat has a roller furler and that will stay. Am working with my sailmaker and PHRF to determine feasibility of 37″ sprit and asymmetric kites only. If you have ever raced boats with sprits / a sails and roller furlers, you know that is the most crew-friendly way to sail. My last boat was a J92 and the asym / sprit / and furler combo was awesome. Will sail the boat for a year to try to understand the mindset behind the nine winches. Will replace floorboards, hopefully with something synthetic, and do my best to clean up the wood work.

My biggest ambition is to expand the aft quarter berth by removing the center longitudinal bulkhead under the center of the cockpit floor. I’m baffled by the immense vacant expanse aft of the gallery in the rear port quarter. The line drawings seem to indicate it was meant to be storage accessed from above, but the only way to access that space on my boat is from the starboard quarter berth through an opening in the longitudinal bulkhead. It seems like a huge waste of space. I had a Tripp 33 and loved the queen / king size that stretched side to side aft of the engine, and the Express would hugely benefit by a bunk big enough for my 6’2″ frame.

Exciting prospects. Will keep you posted of progress.”

Whisper’s Offshore Racing Rule Certificate

Tom B. the owner of Whisper out of Chicago sent us his ORR certificate! I’m not sure exactly what all this stuff means but I’m pretty sure it’s a license to kick ass on the race course. Click on the graphic or link below.

Whisper’s ORR Cert.

Whisper ORR 2017 Whisper ORR 2017

For now you can check out the Whisper page under the heading, The Boats.

Whisper with her ‘Blue Chute’

Updated! – Traveler has a new owner!

Dave R. is the new (well…newish) owner of Traveler check out his comments below!


Traveler in the Bay


Traveler at the bridge


Traveler spinnaker run

Very glad to see an e34 website! I bought Traveler (hull #5) in February 2014 and moved her back up to the San Francisco Bay Area, specifically Alameda. Love this boat! We race her in a couple of series: YRA (the former Party Circuit weekends) and Interclub (primarily South Bay courses). Looking forward to more cruising around the Bay too.

One issue I’ve had was a leak at the lower rudder bearing (my bearings were thankfully delrin). The liner pan was not completely glassed to the hull back there, so a glass guru at a local yard cut an access hole through the liner near the rudder tube and gooped it all pretty good. Then I have to get at all the little leaks around opening windows and main salon hatch – thanks for the reminder, rainy season.

Yes, I’ve kept the name (as I believe the last few owners have – the owner just prior to me, whose tenure lasted 8 years had the boat in Marina Del Rey, had even kept Sausalito as the hailing port on the transom). Judging by the title document, I’m about the 9th owner (!) The boat has lived about half her life up here and the other half down south. There were two other names, listed on documents that came with the boat – I’ll try to jot them down and forward next time I’m aboard.

For clarity, my leak wasn’t a problem with the bearing per se, but with the hull near the bearing – maybe a crack caused when the original bearing was pounded out? I’ve heard those aluminum Harken bearings were less than desirable.

My rating is 99 too – and there’s a comment at the bottom of my certificate that says deduction of 6 sec because of oversized spin (!) (luffs are about 42′ and foot is about 22′ – since the boat was in LA for at least 8 years, I figured folks were just able to get away with the “big” kite, but …). Had an interesting experience last year in a race that’s usually a mostly downwind ride (Berkeley to Vallejo). Came in right behind Marrakech, which I was feeling really good about until I learned she was 2nd from last (!) Then, about 6 weeks later results were calculated, for informational purposes only, using our downwind ratings, and we both moved up into mid-fleet. So evidently our 99 rating is favored for driving to the windward mark.